How to mess up your user stories

User Stories are more or less the standard format for managing your product backlog in agile projects. So this is my trigger to let you know how to completely mess them up 😉 I collected a short list of my favorites, let’s start.

Missing Roles

Don’t define any roles! It is much more fun to write a user story from the view of a generic user. Don’t waste your time to define all these useless roles. If I write a story about the possibility to delete any user from the database it should be clear for anyone that I was talking about some kind of admin.

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Open Session: Tai Chi/Zen & Team

The first OpenSpace session for me today was about Thai Chi and the influence on the team. Christine Neidhardt did some interesting and simple Tai Chi exercises with us and a discussion afterwards what we felt. We started to stand in a circle and focus on ourselves. When we were ready to start we went into the circle and bow to let everybody know that we appreciate that they are also participating. After this introduction we did the first exercise. We took each others hands and started a “La Ola” wave. The challenge was to get a real smooth “La Ola” wave through going round the whole circle. The next and for me more interesting exercise was the following: Clap your hands one after another around the circle and find the rhythm of the team. We got a smooth rhythm with some disturbances in between but after some practice we were able to overcome these and continue with our rhythm. In the last exercise we stood in a line without seeing each other. Christine was starting a movement with her arms which went through the line and back. The first movements were quite easy even if I were the blocker in the first round but it should have been easy because you were able to see the arms of the people in the corner of your eyes but the last movement was really difficult to recognize. You had to try to feel when it’s time to continue the movement without seeing it. Really interesting experience. After the exercises we sat together discussing what we felt during out Tai Chi exercises. You can see the results on the flip chart.

7 things to sabotage an AgileCoachCamp

I’m currently participating at the Agile Coach Camp Germany 2010 in Rückersbach near Frankfurt. As some of you already know I’m a lightning talk addict and so I couldn’t resist to do a one this eveAgileCoachCampning. After a bunch of great talks I did my talk on the topic “7 things to sabotage an AgileCoachCamp”. Here is my list:

  1. Don‘t propose any topics for the open space sessions.
  2. Ignore the facilitator
  3. Disturb any sessions by continuously asking questions that are not related to the session topic.
  4. Don‘t participate on any games. You‘re not a child anymore.
  5. Talk on your mobile as loud and often as possible.
  6. Leave, now!
  7. Don’t talk at all.

I didn’t use slides but if you need some, here you are:

Here is the video of the talk. Have fun :-) :